What a year.
Never before has this organization, this business community, or the City of Aurora been tested like it was in 2020. I am humbled and proud to say that Invest Aurora stood up to the test and worked harder than ever to assure our businesses received the support they needed while positioning the City for increased diversity and growth into 2021 and beyond.

Our team launched several new relief programs such as the STABLE fund and Restore Aurora Business Relief fund to assist local businesses struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide civil unrest experienced in early 2020. We also mentored dozens of business owners in navigating County, State, and Federal relief resources and successful operation practices.

We are extremely proud of the work we accomplished in 2020, some of it the most important we have done in our careers. We are eager to follow this momentum into the coming months and will continue working alongside Mayor Richard C. Irvin and the City of Aurora City Council, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and three Chambers of Commerce in fostering a strong, Aurora business community.

On behalf of the Invest Aurora team, and our Board of Directors, thank you for your partnership in 2020, and we’re looking forward to working with you in the New Year. 
Amid national economic uncertainty, Aurora, IL. was able to secure a number of project wins and provide over 1 million dollars in project funding, greatly stimulating our local economy.
1998 Melissa Ln #140
In October 2020, leading food industry x-ray and product inspectors, FlexXray, expanded into a new, 48,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility on Aurora's far west side. The expansion allows the company to meet the growing demand of food manufacturers as market needs continue to change. To accommodate growing demand, the company will hire 150 new jobs within the first few years of operation.
2640 White Oak Circle
In July 2020, viaPhoton, a fiber-optic solutions provider opened a 25,000 sq. ft. "micro-factory" in Aurora. The state-of-the-art facility will not only provide access to 5G infrastructure and technology, jobs, education, and specialized training opportunities will also be made available to local communities.
Invest Aurora President Bryan Gay shares that it is the cities highly educated, available workforce and advanced utility infrastructure that attracted the company to Aurora, and ultimately sealed the deal.
Old Copley Hospital Site
The Old Copley Hospital location on Downtown Aurora's east side is on the verge of seeing new life. Over $82 million has been raised in public and private financing to redevelop the entire site into a multi-use property. Plans include 96 independent , assisted-living and memory care senior-living units, 86,000 sq. ft. of medical office space and a park.
Total Project Square Footage: 1,000,000 square feet
Projected project Capital Investment: $240,000,000
Jobs Created / Retained: 450 retained, 700 created
Finish Line Grant Project Highlights
In 2020, Invest Aurora issued $226,002 in Finish Line Grant funds.
These funds helped spur the completion of projects
totaling over $941,000 in private investment.
McCarty Mills Taproom
140 S. River St., Suite 108
Owners of McCarty Mills Taproom utilized FLG funds to construct a taproom nestled along the Fox River. The location specializes in craft beer and features seasonal and specialty brews from several regional breweries.
  • Finish Line Grant: $38,185
  • Private Investment: $148,425.07
Legacy Nutrition & Fitness 77 S. River St.
Legacy Nutrition and Fitness has been a member of the Downtown Aurora business community for many years. While gyms across the country were forced to close due to COVID-19, Legacy owners made the most out of the down-time and completed an interior remodel. Finish Line Grant funds were used to help expand their popular juice bar, create a check-in desk, and provide more space for socially distanced classes.
  • Finish Line Grant: $3,600
  • Private Investment: $18,500
Tavern on Broadway
140 S. River St., Suite 108
Many may remember this location as the former Tavern on the Fox, but make no mistake, Tavern on Broadway is sure to leave its own mark in the Downtown. Owner Mark Hogan used Finish Line Grants toward an all-around remodeling of the space. The Tavern opened in October just prior to the implementation of statewide COVID-19 restrictions. The bar recently reopened early this year.
  • Finish Line Grant: $49,048
  • Private Investment: $221,864
Northwest Insurance Network
26 N. Broadway
Well known regionally located Northwest Insurance Network recently moved into the ground floor commercial space at 26 N. Broadway. The business used Finish Line Grant funds to aid in renovating both stories of the long-vacant building. The second floor now holds two new, currently leasing apartments.
  • Finish Line Grant: $75,000
  • Private Investment: $375,532.32
Dunham Revolving Loan Project Highlights
In 2020, Invest Aurora lent out $750,000 to Aurora businesses through the John C. Dunham, Revolving Loan Program
Aurora National Bank Building
105 E. Galena
Invest Aurora worked with building owners to provide a construction loan that would allow contractors to perform much-needed upgrades to two aging, 8-story building elevators.
In April 2019, the City of Aurora adopted the General Business Registration Ordinance promoting the safety and well-being of all businesses, their patrons and city residents.

The ordinance requires all entities conducting business within city boundaries to register with the City of Aurora. With up-to-date communication pathways in place across City departments, the creation of the business registry will ensure that, if and when necessary, the City can provide businesses vital safety outreach and other important information or opportunities.

By registering your business, you are contributing to the continued success and safety of your employees, patrons and fellow businesses.

Registration is fast and easy; click below to get started!
Erik Carlson
Illinois State University
Stevenson Center for Community & Economic Development
Erik joins our Invest team as a fellow with the Illinois State University, Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program. He is currently assisting with property attraction efforts, developing our workforce resources, database management, and more. Erik joined our team in September 2020 and will be working with us through August 2021. We're excited to have him on our team!
Alex Lopez
Cordogan Clark & Associates
Associate Architect
Appointed 5/12/2020
For Alex, Architecture is a passion, not just his profession. He has managed and participated in several projects in Illinois, including his integral role in the development of the office building and world headquarters for Scientel Solutions located in Aurora, IL. Alex was also the lead designer and Architect for multiple new community out-patient clinics for VNA Healthcare, also headquartered here in Aurora, IL. With such an understanding for Aurora’s historical architecture and vision for future development, Alex is a key addition to our Board of Directors.
On December 8, 2020, Aurora City Council approved a contract between the City of Aurora, Invest Aurora and Caton Commercial Real Estate Group to market available properties at four Downtown buildings, following the City's Downtown Master Plan. The teams will also follow data from a 2019 public retail survey conducted by Invest Aurora to discover the types of businesses the public would like to see in the area.
As we move into this new year, businesses can expect to be faced with (or are already facing) unexpected challenges; largely around workforce hiring and retention. Invest Aurora's business retention specialist, Loretta Daly, is working with local business resources and educational institutions to develop crucial workforce development tools, programs and guidance that is readily available for current business owners and businesses interested in the Aurora area.

Learn the basic elements of starting a successful business. This workshop gives the entrepreneur a realistic view of the requirements to start a business and the resources available to support a new venture. Topics include business plan preparation, legal structures, government regulations, financing sources, loan programs, and lender eligibility criteria.
6:00 - 7:30 P.M. | VIRTUAL
Waubonsee Community College, Small Business Development Center

This forum will address the hiring struggle and talent retention issues that many in the manufacturing field are experiencing, and provide guidance and tips on how to build a strong workforce. Topics will include: Partnering with Education, Employee Engagement and Retention, Non-Traditional Workforce, and Marketing for New Hires.
3:00 P.M. | VIRTUAL